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Wedding Wednesday: Our Couples Shower

Couples showers are one of my favorite wedding trends these days! Traditionally, wedding showers are just for the bride; however, modern day weddings are now incorporating couples showers into the festivity mix!

Couples showers are more like a cocktail party and include both the bride and groom, and of course, their male and female friends! While the party may still incorporate the traditional games and presents, the themes are usually more co-ed friendly. There are numerous ways to celebrate the couple, but the theme should represent their personalities including stock the bar, the hunt is over, Mexican fiestas, outdoor BBQs, and of course, my personal favorite Colorado mountain theme!

Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: Review of Bells and Barbells

Hey Wedding Wednesday friends! If you stopped by our Wedding Wednesday post last week, you read our interview with Katherine Bahlburg, owner of Bells and Barbells, which is the wedding focused fitness program here in Dallas.

Dang, ladies, I can’t tell you enough about how she and her team have completely changed the wedding planning season for me!

I started going to B&B because I wanted to find a program that was more tailored to me and would help with injury prevention while also helping me tone my body. Plus, what a huge perk to be working with trainers who are focused on my wedding and customize my workouts to my shower dates, photo sessions, and my dress! What more could a future bride want?!

Prior to starting the program, I had read and heard so many wonderful things about Katherine and the success of her program, so I decided to sign myself up! And honestly – anything that got me out of bed at 6 a.m. to work out would have been considered a win for me, but her program has proven to be so much more.

First of all! Katherine and her team are not just another training center. They have an incredible personal touch that helps everyone to succeed. Upon consultation, I talked to Katherine about my goals, my diet, my current workout regimen, my fitness injuries, and of course my wedding date, dress fittings and bridal shoots, so she could see how to focus my fitness plan. Every time I come in and work with her or one of her trainers, she already has a personalized plan for me for the day that addresses a specific injury or body part that I need to work on. No workout is the same and I can always tell how much time and energy they put into my personal plan. And that is just the start of the personalization that Katherine and her team offer!

Despite having a full portfolio of brides and grooms that she manages, Katherine texts me every Sunday to make sure that I have set my goals for the week, gone grocery shopping and created my meal plan, and then always checks in with me during the week to see how everything is going. How she keeps up with all of us is really beyond me, but that’s what makes this company so special! They are right there by my side the entire time, and this friendship and motivation helps all of her clients stay on track. Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Fitness

Happy Wedding Wednesday! If you’re like me, you’ve probably read up on a lot of different beauty regimens throughout the planning process and probably put in a few extra hours at the gym to try and look your absolute best for the big day! Besides the monthly facials and hair appointments, one aspect that I have really tried to focus on is fitness.

So if you’re in the DFW area, listen up! I have found the perfect wedding-focused fitness program that is customized to you and solely focused on your wedding fitness goals! What more could a future bride (or groom) want?!

Bells and Barbells is a Dallas-based fitness program owned by Katherine Bahlburg, who by the way, is crazy accomplished and has over 13 years of experience as an athlete, coach and trainer across the country (read more about her here)! Her company is 100% centered around your wedding and your health and fitness goals, which is perfect for the bride and groom looking for a tailored wedding program.

Katherine is revolutionizing the wedding fitness world, as there’s literally no other company like hers in the world. So local gals – you’re in luck! To get to know her better and learn more about her life changing program (seriously! Read my personal account here), I have sat down with Katherine to ask a few questions!

1. How did you start Bells and Barbells and how long have you owned your company?

I started Bells And Barbells a little under two years ago. Bells And Barbells came out of an idea and a desire to work with women that were driven and goal oriented. I wanted to create something unique and something that had never been done before, and I wanted to do it in such a way that the business would help fill in all of the gaps/missing links and lack of services commonly found in the fitness world. I wanted to create a full service wedding focused fitness business where brides can go to not only get into the best shape of their lives but to also be surrounded by a fun and exciting environment that also holds them accountable and eases the stressors of wedding planning.

2. What sets Bells and Barbells apart from other personal training studios? Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: How to Choose Your Wedding Venue

Happy Wedding Wednesday! With the new year in full swing, many brides are kicking the planning process into high gear for their summer and fall weddings and making all those final big decisions. Besides the budget and guest list, one of the first decisions that needs to be made is the wedding venue!

The venue will determine the date based on their availability and then will help all those other wedding day details (style, formality, color, decor) fall into place! So what should you look at and think about as you are touring all those venues trying to pick the perfect place?! Here is the beginner’s guide to help you get started!

Photography by Lane Dittoe

Location

Location, location, location. Consider the distance and the travel costs you and a majority of your guests will have to get to the venue. Is there a certain city that is meaningful to you and your fiance? What will the weather look like in that particular location in your desired wedding month?

Style

You should have a general idea of the style, theme, and tone of your wedding before your reserve your venue. If you know you want a modern glam wedding, you may want to look into a sleek contemporary hotel ballroom or museum rather than a renovated barn. If you want a nautical-themed wedding, a harbor will better match your style than a wedding mill. We personally are going for a mountain elegant theme, so we chose a lodge styled venue at a ski resort.

Color

If you have a certain theme, style, or color palette in mind, make sure the coloring of the venue reflects or enhances your theme. They don’t have to match exactly, but you don’t want the walls, curtains, carpets, etc. to conflict with your style. For example, dated curtains can really clash with a modern and contemporary vibe.

Rosewood Mansion | Photography by f8 Studio

Size

Create a general guest list before your venue search to ensure the room is large enough to accommodate the number of people on your guest list. You don’t want to book a venue that only holds 75 for a seated dinner when you have 200 on your guest list, and you also don’t want a venue that holds 400 when you only want to invite 75 because it will look empty!

Don’t forget to factor in space for the dance floor, bars, food stations, or buffet tables if these are elements you will be incorporating into your wedding. Often times, (and this is the situation in our case actually) if your guest list is close to the max capacity of the venue, you have to do a seated dinner because there is not enough space for buffet tables or stations. So just keep that in mind as well if the food service presentation is important to you.

Aria in Minneapolis, Minnesota | Photo courtesy of Aria

Designated Areas

Ask the venue for a typical layout of the space for weddings. There should be logical places for the bars, tables, food, dancing, DJ/band etc. so the space doesn’t feel cluttered. Also, avoid venues with odd-shaped rooms so that it doesn’t mess with the flow of the wedding. Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: Styled Bachelorette Party

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Happy Wedding Wednesday! It’s been a while since we’ve had a wedding post around here, but we are back in full swing with one of every future bride’s favorite part of the engagement season -the bachelorette party!

Even if you’re not currently planning a bachelorette party, this styled shoot I did with Gold Dust Vintage, will have you dropping hints to all your gal’s boyfriends to put a ring on it so you too can throw this chic bachelorette slumber party!

DALLAS NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER, DALLAS FINE ART, FINE ART, HOWELL FAMILY FARMS, FORT WORTH NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER, FORT WORTH FINE ART, DALLAS BACHELORETTE PARTY, FORT WORTH BACHELORETTE PARTY, SOUTHERN WEDDING, WEDDING INSPO, BACHELORETTE PARTY, TEXAS PARTY, TABLESCAPE, STYLED SHOOT, BRIDESMAIDS, PARTY, RACHEL ELAINE PHOTOGRAPHY, GOLD DUST

A feminine palette of gold, black and white with pops of red was just what this party needed to create a trendy and swanky vibe – and that it was! This girls night was nothing short of modern and stylish! Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself and get inspired! Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Gifts

One of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process so far has been asking my bridesmaids to be in my bridal party! If you read our Wedding Wednesday post on Groomsmen Gifts you saw how we compiled personalized gifts for each of my fiance’s groomsmen. Now we have done the same for my bridesmaids!

I’ve partnered with Swoozies to put together the cutest gifts to ask my gals to be in our bridal party! If you’ve never been Swoozies before, stop by one of their stores or their website! It’s the perfect one stop shop for all your party decor and celebratory gifting needs!

Check out these adorable gifts we put together and hopefully they provide you with some inspiration when putting together your own bridesmaid packages!

Personalized Stemless Champagne Flutes

The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies Bridesmaid Gifts 12The Everyday Hostess and Swoozies Bridesmaid Gifts 11

These stunning and modern champagne glasses are the perfect bridesmaid gifts for your friends! There are a myriad of ways to customize them for your wedding, but for bridesmaid gifts, I personally love the monogram look with the wedding date! There are also some adorable options for your bachelorette party or wedding favors! These would also be super cute in the hotel welcome bags! Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: The Groom’s Guide

The Groom-to-be’s Guide to Wedding Planning: The early stages

Happy Wedding Wednesday! This Wednesday we are in for a treat! I would like to introduce you to my wonderful fiancé and general team player Landon who will be sharing a little bit of his perspective of the wedding planning process and our recent planning trip to Colorado!

Gore Creek Drive, with Gore Range in the background

Friends, followers of this blog, and random internet strangers — welcome. It’s good to have you here, as I’ve been so generously given this space to provide a groom’s perspective on the wedding planning process.

While my lovely fiancée Kate, who many of you know affectionately as The Everyday Hostess, and I are only in the beginning stages of mapping out our matrimony, I’m here to show you that planning the big day is so much more than smiling and nodding.

Chevare? Chivari? Shevarry?

When you’re meeting with a florist, I give the go-ahead to briefly tune out — it’s likely going to happen with or without my blessing. I’ll paint a picture with an anecdote from my florist meeting:

While the Powers That Be were using their creative juices to determine which candle holder will best open up the space, my imagination was geared toward one question: “What would I be watching on the powered-off TV on the wall, if it was on?” Since I was confined to carte blanche in the form of écran noir (that means “black screen” and I want to put my eight years of French to good use here), I had to create my own SportsCenter broadcast in my mind. With an imaginary sportscast airing inside my cranium, thoughts of the Denver Broncos’ nightmarish quarterback situation (yay, geolocated sports thoughts!) and my fantasy football draft were aplenty. Trevor Siemian? Really?

I’ll warn you, though — when you do tune back into wedding talk, and I advise that you do, they’ll be discussing gold chiavari* chairs and “mountain elegant” centerpieces. And the confusion will hit you like a ton of bricks.

Safety first

With weddings, you have to be ready for anything. This is especially true day-of, but it’s also the case during the planning process. It’s a constant work in progress — you’re building the most magical celebration with the woman of your dreams, after all. But sometimes it’s literally a construction project, for which you have to put on a hard hat and a safety vest. Keep Reading!

Wedding Wednesday: Budget Guideline

When you first get engaged it’s easy to start thinking about all the incredible details that will make up the most important day of your life so far. You begin imagining the flowers, the venue, the food, the band, all the amazingly fun decisions you will make over the next year! However, before you jump in too fast and start all your planning meetings, it’s important to first create a budget and have some of those (unfortunately) uncomfortable conversations with your significant other and both sets of parents, or whoever is helping foot the bill. 

Traditionally, the bride’s family is responsible for a majority of the wedding reception (with the exception of the liquor/bar, bride’s wedding ring, officiant, flowers for the bride and her family to hold/wear, and oftentimes the photographer) and the groom’s family is responsible for the rehearsal dinner, marriage license, and the honeymoon. However, with couple’s getting married later in life or different familial budgets, many of these expenses get shared between the families as well as with the couple. 

No matter who is paying for what, sit down and start working through your budget. Below is our wedding budget guideline to start helping you allocating your budget amongst the most important wedding related expenses. This is by no no means set in stone, as you will find everyone has different priorities and elements they want to splurge on, but it’s important to start the process. After this step, the hard conversations are mainly over, and it’s all the fun and exciting decisions you have been dreaming about your whole life!

Enjoy!

The Everyday Hostess Wedding Budget

Wedding Wednesday – Groomsmen Gifts

One of the first things future brides and grooms love to do after getting engaged is is officially asking their friends and family to be their bridesmaids and groomsmen!

Getting the bridal party set early makes it officially feel like it’s your wedding season! You can talk about the bridesmaid dresses and bachelor party, and for the future bride, you have your team ready to help make those tricky decorating decisions!

After you’ve decided who you want standing next to you as you marry the person of your dreams, I think it’s always fun to find a creative way to ask them. Being in your bridal party is a big honor, so let’s make it more special with a fun invitation!

I have compiled a few of my favorite ways to ask groomsmen (don’t worry ladies – bridesmaid gift ideas are coming soon!) to be in your wedding party, including how we asked ours!

Cheers and happy planning!

“Will you be my Groomsmen” cards from PurpleandPlatinum:

The Everyday Hostess - Wedding Wednesday Groomsmen Gifts 54

Brooke, the owner of this shop, is an absolute delight to work with! She will customize these cards to match your wedding colors and the style of your wedding.

Custom pint glasses from Frederick Engraving:

The Everyday Hostess - Wedding Wednesday Groomsmen Gifts 3

These custom beer pint glasses are the perfect groomsmen gift for your guys! Arika can customize them to include each groomsmen’s name, your monogram, the wedding date, or even the location! These pair perfectly with the beer labels below.

Custom beer labels from StudioBLabels:

The Everyday Hostess - Wedding Wednesday Groomsmen Gifts 10

What is more manly than these custom beer labels with your favorite local beer?! I am absolutely obsessed with these labels and think they are perfect for any groomsmen! Rachel also makes wine labels for your bridesmaids, so it’s the perfect one stop shop!

Wedding weekend sneak peek:  Keep Reading!

Wedding Planning Timeline – Wedding Wednesday

Happy Wedding Wednesday! It’s officially my new favorite day of the week! We are moving full speed ahead with the wedding planning and are just a little under a year away from the big day!

Even though I have been dreaming about this day for what feels like forever, I have found myself a bit overwhelmed with the entire process. So many exciting things to do and, of course, I want them done yesterday! 🙂  If you’re like me and are planning your own wedding, your daughter’s, or a friend’s, I am sure there seems to be an unending list of things on our wedding to-do list and the order and priority of everything is a little bit hazy. 

So! To help you out, I’ve put together this wedding planning timeline printable to serve as your guide as you enjoy this exciting time. Feel free to click on the link below to download your PDF and check off all the big ticket items as you go! And most importantly, enjoy every minute of this wonderful time in your life! 

The Everyday Hostess Wedding Planning Timeline

Download your free wedding timeline printable here!